The Primitive Power of Logos

Decoding the Simple Shapes of Logo Design

The Primitive Power of Logos

Design Indaba is a wealth of great videos featuring renowned designers and design professionals who discuss the impact design has on society. One of our favorite videos features award-winning graphic designer Michael Bierut in an interview where he talks about the power of logo design, and how simple shapes have come together to create meaning.

“What’s fun about logo design, what makes it so interesting, why it holds so much power for all of us is that there is something very primitive about it,” he says. “Many of them are such simple marks. They are not much further evolved than hieroglyphics, or marks on cave walls from millions of years ago.”

Alongside that, he considers how logo meanings are determined by an inherent participation from the viewer saying, “a lot of what we see when we look at a logo isn’t happening in the logo, it’s happening in our own mind.”

It is this interactive and social quality of design work that lends the profession what Bierut can only describe as “a kind of magic”.